ALREADY, the season bears little relation to the last campaign.
Fulham beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Saturday - as they do most seasons - but in every other respect, they did not look anything like last year's model.
The final scoreline did scant justice to their vast superiority and they almost allowed Bolton to sneak the unlikeliest of draws after conceding a soft goal to Kevin Davies at a set-piece eight minutes from time.
But the late vulnerability apart, there was so much for boss Roy Hodgson to be pleased about, not least the form of his two strikers.
After several seasons of ponderous attacks, Fulham finally appear to have a forward line which looks capable of doing damage to the very best defences.
Andy Johnson had an excellent debut and the former Everton striker, who was forced to turn his back on European football by heading south, was given a standing ovation by appreciative home fans when he was susbstituted in the second half.
Johnson's first appearance had been delayed by a thigh injury but his first start was worth the wait as he dovetailed neatly with Bobby Zamora.
Zamora was even better - showing why his capture from West Ham could prove to be Hodgson's smartest piece of summer business.
The striker rifled in a superb second after wriggling past two defenders with some deft footwork and he was a constant thorn in Bolton's side.
Zoltan Gera had given Fulham a deserved lead, sweeping in a half volley after a quarter of an hour.
Up to sixth already and with a game in hand, it is no surprise that Match of the Day pundits Mark Lawrenson and Alan Hansen were predicting a comfortable mid-table position for the Whites this season on the basis of a thrilling performance.